By Patrick Chatain, CTO, Contentsquare
Ensuring consumer needs and desires are constantly met is vital to building relationships, instilling loyalty and developing business success. With the online world now playing such a huge role in everyday life, the human digital experience has had the biggest impact on customer interaction. Authentically human, emotional, seamless digital journeys can prove the difference between fast growing, successful companies and monotonous failure.
The CX landscape
The age old saying ‘time is money’ has never been more relevant than in our current era. With almost every facet of life taking place online, from shopping to communication to government resources, customer expectations are at an all-time high. What’s more, the introduction of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the metaversewill all kick artificial intelligence (AI) in customer experience (CX) into high gear in the coming years.
Data will not be measured by clicks or mouse hovers, but rather, on qualitative interaction, sentiment and response. We’re seeing a departure from the old marketing playbooks for KPIs and the possibilities are now endless as marketers work in engaging new ways to learn more about customers as humans first, and customers second.
With this shift, it is vital that digital journeys are constantly developed and altered to give consumers the best possible experience, instilling loyalty and encouraging repeat transactions. If a site is stuttering, a hyperlink is broken or a page is formatted incorrectly, organisations risk frustrating their customers and losing massive amounts of current and future revenue.
CX analytics comes into play here. It’s virtually impossible for humans to monitor and interpret all the user data across all their digital channels, so detailed automated analytics systems can help ease the burden. These systems heavily rely onAI to interpret the data and give valuable insights into organisations’ apps, websites and online platforms.
AI is a far cry from its formative era. The evolution of the technology and introduction of machine learning (ML) has given it enormous potential to help aid and revolutionise customer experiences — allowing businesses to grow and thrive as a result. Furthermore, ML allows AI to absorb information, learn from it and improve its process automatically. The more the technology is used the better it gets.
But how is the technology specifically used within CX and what benefits does it actually bring to organisations?
How AI is being used by CX professionals
The main purpose of AI within CX is to provide streamlined analysis and insights. The technology allows organisations to quickly find potential issues within their sites that could be hindering their customers’ digital experience. For example, leading brands such as Pizza Hut, DeBeers and Jansport have all consistently used A/B testing and content optimisation, leveraging machine learning for data insights.
The technology can monitor KPI impact, break down customer emotion and provide real time updates to ensure organisations are meeting the high standards of the public. Ensuring that frustrations are eased and expectations met not only increases the rate of site conversion, but goes a long way to building loyalty with customers. A good digital journey will go a long way to encourage individuals to revisit an organisations digital channels, in the hope of similar experiences.
One of the main benefits of employing AI in CX is its ability to give live updates on any issues or complication with a customer’s experience. The traditional, detailed weekly reports of potential issues used by many CX organisations are only so helpful, often crammed full of convoluted information about issues that may have been in place for days before they were flags. The introduction of AI helps solve these issues, delivering automatic reports of any anomalies and odd activities.
Over time, the technology familiarises itself with an organisation’s websites, learning customer trends and habits allowing it to:
- Quickly locate any changes in behaviour in user activity. Using AI in this way strikes the perfect balance between long, tedious weekly reports and constant spam updates — making it the perfect tool for CX professionals to monitor their sites.
- interpret and predict the potential ramifications of errors – ranking them depending on their impact on KPIs and overall revenue. This is vital to allowing CX professionals and marketers to quickly identify the areas of their channels that see the highest percentage of customer drop off and consequently cost their organisation the most revenue. From here, they can quickly tackle them head on, rectifying any issues and minimising the long-term impact on customer numbers and conversion rates.
- Monitor, record, and interpret different consumer emotions, intentions, actions, interactions and gestures to understand consumers throughout their digital journey. Behaviours like frustrated clicking (“rage clicks”) or hovering over certain areas can all provide insights into the customer moods. The technology collates these insights and compares the data with industry standards to help organisations understand what their customers are feeling and why.
With consumer expectations and online competition at an all-time high, it is vital that organisations ensure their customer experience is second to none. AI already takes a large role in supporting this and will only become more effective as the technology behind it continues to develop. But how will combining CX and AI define and guide customer behavior of the future? What will we see come in times of Web3 and the metaverse that will either be a challenge or opportunity for brands?
Of course, the goal is to monetise it in some way to ensure that a brand invests their time and energy, but how can AI make digital and IRL bleed seamlessly into each other? Is this a positive outcome? The standards and expectations are constantly rising, and businesses need to do all they can to stand out from the crowd. Machine learning improves the more data it analyses, and it’s vital that organisations adopt AI technology into their CX processes if they are to grow and build a loyal customer base.